Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

More Huntsman History Made This Year with Flotation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

More Huntsman History Made This Year with Flotation

Article excerpt

First and foremost, on the corporate front it has been the year in which Huntsman ( formerly the world's biggest privately-owned chemical company ( was floated for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange.

It carried out a historic Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February.

The Huntsman family is still very much at the helm of the company, with president and chief executive Peter Huntsman leading the company and his father, Jon senior, remaining chairman of the worldwide group of Huntsman companies.

The IPO was a significant milestone in the company's history.

It has enabled Huntsman to repay more than pounds 574m worth of debt to put the company on a much firmer financial footing.

At the time of the IPO Peter Huntsman said: "Selling a minority interest in our equity on the public markets is a significant and positive step forward for the Huntsman companies.

"Reducing our debt burden (and subsequent interest payments) is one of our primary objectives.

"We intend to use the proceeds from the IPO to reduce our debt and strengthen our balance sheet.

"The IPO will also allow the company to grow by providing continued access to the capital markets to fund corporate initiatives."

One of the corporate initiatives that is of great importance to Huntsman's operations on Teesside, is the pounds 200m polyethylene and aromatics upgrade projects.

These were sanctioned last year.

The aromatics revitalisation at Huntsman's North Tees site has been completed and the benefits of that are now beginning to flow through.

The flagship polyethylene project was launched in earnest on October 6 this year with a ground-breaking ceremony at the Wilton International site, near Redcar.

This is where the world-scale, 400,000 tonnes-a-year facility will be built over the next two years. …

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